Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which is a federal holiday to remember those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Lots of Americans confuse it with Veterans Day, which is a different federal holiday to honor all United States military veterans. To add to that confusion, on our Veterans Day, many other nations observe Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I, or Remembrance Day, remembering members of the military who have died in the line of duty.
Here are words from the Book of Common Prayer that can be your own prayerful act of remembrance on Memorial Day:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give you thanks for all your servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them your mercy and the light of your presence; and give us such a lively sense of your righteous will, that the work which you have begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector